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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Anton Dohrn   16 April and 9 August 1874

Down, | Beckenham, Kent.

Ap. 16. 1874

See Postscript dated Aug 9th

My dear Dr Dohrn

I thank you for your very kind & interesting letter, & I earnestly hope that your health may be restored by your native air.1 I wrote at once to Mr Murray & he desires me to thank you for your letter, & he will have Dr Lancaster’s account printed & inserted in all future copies of the Guide book.2

The circular about the Stazione has been as yet sent only to Sir C. Lyell, Sir J. Lubbock & Mr Sclater, & they have gladly signed it.3 About subscriptions we of course, as yet, know nothing. I have received the excellent photograph of your building, which is very handsome, & far more imposing than I had imagined. There is to be a grand soirée on the 23rd at the Royal Soc., & I will try to have it exhibited there. If, as I understand, Mr Balfour sent it, pray thank him for me.4

I well remember your letter about Anelasma, & I recd some time ago Dr K’s paper on the subject. This case seems to me the most interesting one of gradation ever recorded, viz from an animal with a stomach to one with roots like a plant.5 I am delighted to hear that you will examine the complemental males of scalpellum.6

With the most earnest wishes for your recovery & for the success of your noble undertaking

I remain | yours very sincerely | Ch. Darwin

Aug. 9. I have just received this letter from the dead-letter office. It was directed to you when you were at Sorrento. It is of no use forwarding it to you, but I cannot bear to think that you shd suppose that I had neglected yr request, & you will see that Mr Murray will insert Dr Lankester’s account.

This note obviously requires no answer, & I send it merely for my own satisfaction


CD refers to John Murray and to Edwin Ray Lankester’s account of Dohrn’s Zoological Station at Naples. See letter from Anton Dohrn, 6 April 1874 and nn. 14 and 15.
Francis Maitland Balfour had sent a photograph of the Zoological Station at Naples (see letter from Anton Dohrn, 6 April 1874). CD attended the soirée at the Royal Society of London on 22 April (letter to Michael Foster, 23 April [1874]).
Robby August Kossmann discussed Anelasma squalicola in his article on the anatomy and taxonomy of the Pedunculata (Kossmann 1873). CD’s annotated copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet collection–CUL. For more on Kossmann’s work, see Correspondence vol. 21, letter from Anton Dohrn, 7 June 1873 and nn. 15 and 16. Anelasma squalicola is a parasitic goose barnacle.


Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 29 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Kossmann, Robby August. 1873. Suctoria und Lepadidae. Untersuchungen über die durch Parasitismus hervorgerufenen Umbildungen in der Familie der Pedunculata. [Reprint of Habilitationsschrift, Würzburg, 1873.] Arbeiten aus dem Zoologisch-Zootomischen Institut in Würzburg 1 (1874): 179–207.


Has written to J. Murray to have account of the Zoological Station inserted in the Murray guidebook.

The circular about the Station has been printed; some have already signed.

Received R. Kossman’s paper on Anelasma ["Untersuchungen über die durch Parasitismus hervorgerufenen Umbildungen in der Familie der Pedunculata", Verh. Phys.-med. Ges. Würz. N. F. 5 (1874): 129–57]. The case is the most interesting ever recorded of gradation, i.e., from an animal with a stomach to one with roots like a plant.

Delighted he will examine the complemental males of Scalpellum.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Felix Anton (Anton) Dohrn
Sent from
Source of text
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München (Ana 525. Ba 702)
Physical description
LS 4pp

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 9414,” accessed on 21 June 2024,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 22